Primary Documents

Der Tog
The National Jewish Daily
New York
July 2, 1939, pg.5

 

HOW THE SECT “JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES” IS CLANDESTINELY WORKING TO UNDERMINE HITLER’S REGIME

 

THE MEMBERS OF THIS RELIGIOUS SECT ARE THE MOST COURAGEOUS FIGHTERS FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN NAZI GERMANY. MANY OF THEM ARE FOUND IN PRISONS BECAUSE THEY ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTE THE BIBLE, AND BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO SAY THE “HEIL HITLER” GREETING.

By I. Kirschbaum

(Former editor of  the Danzieger Informator)

As the local press has already reported, the religious sect “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” which is connected with the “International Earnest Bible Students Association,” last Sunday held a mass-meeting in Madison Square Garden, where the leader of the sect, George D. Rutherford, [sic] very vigorously attacked Nazism and anti-Semitism in general, and where bloody fighting broke out.

It will be of special interest to the readers of Yiddish newspapers to learn that despite the fact that Hitlerism has already been raging for more than six years in Hitler-Germany, and in the city of Danzig, under the watchful eyes of the Gestapo, which penetrate even the narrowest circles, the aforementioned religious sect “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” including the outlawed Society of Earnest Bible Students, carries on even today a widespread forbidden movement. Hundreds of the strongly devoted members of the sect, including a large number of women, are found in various prisons; but the movement is nevertheless even more successful and steadily increasing in East Prussia, Silesia and Pomerania. (...)

There is another very significant branch of activity of this sect that is worthy of notice, and that is the youth in the schools.  It has become a daily phenomenon in the German public schools that numerous pupils refuse to salute the Swastika and to use the greeting “Heil Hitler!,” and all the threats against the children that they will be thrown into prison and their parents into concentration camps, are of no avail.  The children proclaim clearly that God alone may be hailed by “Heil!,” and not any man, since such action is blasphemy.  Many such school children have been shut up in “reformatories” for criminal youths.

There were numerous cases in Danzig where members of the same religious sect have defended Jews against attacks by Nazis, or when these sincere women of the common people intentionally patronized Jewish stores just when Hitlerites picketed those Jewish shops.  Only a half a year ago, when like a plague all kinds of food stores began to post the well-known signs “Juden unerwünscht” (Jews not wanted), the same German women regarded it as a sacred duty to provide their Jewish neighbors or mere acquaintances with food or milk without asking anything in return. (...)

 

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